With the Trump administration laying down a harder line as Congress debates immigration policy, Vice President Mike Pence will arrive in Texas on Friday to tour the Mexican border and meet with area law officers.
Pence also will take part in fundraising events during his two-day trip, which concludes Saturday in Dallas, as part of a strategy that will see the vice president travel across the country over the next several months to support Republican candidates running for Congress.
The midterm elections in November, typically a difficult time for the party in power, are shaping up to be particularly challenging for Republicans, with polls showing weak approval ratings for President Donald Trump and with Democrats winning special elections in districts Trump had won in 2016.
According to the White House, Pence will begin his Texas trip by speaking to a Trump Victory Political Action Committee event — hosted by the Republican National Committee — at the Westin Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio.
Pence had previously said the San Antonio trip also will help raise campaign money for U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, whose large border-area swing district has become a prime target for Democrats hoping to erode the Republican majority in the U.S. House. Five Democrats are competing in the March 6 primary to face Hurd in November.
Pence will fly Friday afternoon to McAllen, where he will tour the U.S.-Mexico border with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and meet with law officers from the area.
Afterward, Pence and Nielsen will join a discussion with members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection about “the need to secure America’s borders and … on the infrastructure and technology used to build the wall,” according to the White House.
On Saturday, Pence will address an event by America First Policies, a year-old nonprofit created to promote Trump’s agenda. His late-morning speech will focus on the Texas impact of tax policy changes and the Trump administration’s legislative priorities, White House officials said.
Pence also will be the featured speaker at the Dallas County Republican Party’s Reagan Day Dinner before returning to Washington, D.C., on Saturday night. Tickets to the event are $175, with sponsorships available from $50,000 to $2,500, according to the party.
Donald Trump Jr. and Cruz were keynote speakers at the fundraising event last year.